module specification

CY6065 - Neuropharmacology (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Neuropharmacology
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
116 hours Guided independent study
34 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 60%   Data handling and interpretation
Unseen Examination 40%   Unseen exam (1.5 hour)
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Monday Morning

Module summary

The aim of this module is to provide students with an appreciation of neurotransmitter receptor physiology, with the aim of using this to gain understanding of the mechanism of action of drugs which are used to treat key neurological disorders of the central nervous system including depression, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease.  Students will also gain experience at generating, handling and analysing neuropharmacological data. The module provides students with fundamental pharmacological knowledge and skills.

Prior learning requirements



• Key neurotransmitters: mechanisms of signalling, receptor classification, function, LO1

• Anxiety and its treatment LO2,LO3,LO4

• A review of depression and antidepressants. LO2,LO3,LO4

• Neurodegenerative disorders - Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease. LO2,LO3,LO4

• Schizophrenia and its pharmacological treatment. LO2,LO3,LO4

• Drug dependence and drug abuse. LO5

• Generating, handling and interpreting pharmacological data. LO4,LO6

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students will be provided with a range of activities to accommodate different learning styles. The module delivery will consist of lectures (22 hours), workshops (2 hours) and tutorials (10 hours). In-class verbal feedback will be provided and students encouraged and directed towards relevant subject matter material. Students will be expected to prepare in advance for tutorial sessions. The workshop will utilise computer aided simulations to contextualise and enhance understanding of the action of drugs in the human body, and provide experience of data handling and interpretation. This will culminate in the submission of a summative assessment consisting of an individual piece of data handling coursework which will include a discussion section to encourage critical thinking. To develop and enhance student engagement there will be a series of formative quizzes plus instantaneous feedback.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. give a detailed description of neurotransmission within the central nervous system;
2. demonstrate understanding of key CNS disorders and their treatments;
3. compare available treatments for specified disorders;
4. contrast the mechanism of action of specified neuropharmacological drugs;
5. recognise molecular and behavioural aspects of drug dependency;
6. critically evaluate neuropharmacological data.

Assessment strategy

The module will be assessed by means of a coursework component (1200 words; 60%) and an unseen exam (1.5 hour) (40%).
The coursework will consist of a data handling and interpretation.

To pass the module students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 40%.


Core Text: Rang, H. P.; Ritter, J. M.; Flower, R. J.; Henderson, G. (2015) Rang & Dale's Pharmacology. 8th Edition. Churchill Livingstone.

Other Texts: Brunton, L. L.; Hilal-Dandan, R.; Knollmann, B. C. (2017) Goodman and Gilman’s The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics (14th Edition). McGraw-Hill.
Katzung, B.G. (2017) Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (11th Edition). McGraw-Hill.

Journals:  Pharmacological Reviews.


Electronic Databases: